6th Plenum Editorial - Provincial Secretaries back Xi's Leadership - Common Prosperity an 'Ancient Ideal'

Here are the stories and pieces from the November 12, 2021, edition of the People’s Daily that I found noteworthy.

Page 1: The front page has two stories. First, the 6th Plenum communique, which I covered last night. Then, there’s a report about Xi’s speech at the APEC CEOs summit, which I also covered in yesterday’s edition. Notice the redness on the page; it’s also the case with Xinhua’s websites.

Page 2: We have Xi’s full speech to APEC business leaders and a report about the appointment of new ambassadors. 

  • Chen Zhihong was appointed ambassador to Mali, replacing Zhu Liying. 

  • Lin Xianjiang was appointed ambassador to Dominica, replacing Lu Kun. 

  • Guo Haiyan was appointed ambassador to the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, replacing Cui Jianchun.

There’s also a piece talking up China’s pandemic diplomacy, arguing that it has bolstered China’s image internationally. 

We are told that China has taken the lead in proposing that COVID-19 vaccines should be made a global public good...Statistics show that China has provided more than 1.7 billion doses of vaccines to more than 100 countries and international organizations, and will provide more than 2 billion doses to other countries throughout the year. China has provided over 70 million doses of vaccines to the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility and donated $100 million. It has also launched the Belt and Road Vaccine Partnership initiative with 30 countries and conducted joint vaccine production with 19 developing countries. 数据显示,中国已向世界100多个国家和国际组织提供超17亿剂疫苗,全年将对外提供超过20亿剂。中国已向“新冠疫苗实施计划”供应超过7000万剂疫苗,并捐赠1亿美元,还同30个国家发起“一带一路”疫苗合作伙伴关系倡议,同19个发展中国家开展疫苗联合生产.

The piece then talks about Peruvian President Ricardo Castillo’s November 4 comments, when he thanked China for its pandemic-related support. It talks about Pacific Islands thanking China, and El Salvador’s Health Minister praising China as “a responsible country” when it comes to combatting the pandemic. There are more examples of Chinese supplies to other countries and their appreciation. That’s the point of the piece.

Page 3: Just two pieces on the page, and both of these are about the 6th Plenum. Let’s first look at the editorial. The editorial says that reviewing Party history at this juncture, at the intersection of the two centenary goals, is important to ensure that the whole party is “united in its thinking, will and actions.” And it is important in order to “unite and lead the people of all ethnic groups in the country to win new great victories for socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.” 对推动全党进一步统一思想、统一意志、统一行动,团结带领全国各族人民夺取新时代中国特色社会主义新的伟大胜利,具有重大现实意义和深远历史意义.

It says that the decision to summarise the Party’s history at this juncture was a “solemn, historic and strategic” decision, which reflects the Party’s strong will and firm determination to keep in mind the original mission and maintain vitality forever; its sense of historical initiative and mission; and its ability to grasp laws of historical development. It also reflects the “Party’s vision and foresight as it focuses on summing up and applying historical experience, while basing itself in the present and looking towards the future.” 充分体现党立足当下、着眼未来、注重总结和运用历史经验的高瞻远瞩和深谋远虑.

The next paragraph praises the history resolution  that has been passed as adhering to “the methodology of dialectical materialism and historical materialism” and “upholding the correct view of Party history.” We are told that the resolution “summarises the major achievements and historical experiences of the Party’s century of struggle,” and “highlights the main aspects of the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics.” We are told that this is a “glorious Marxist programmatic document”; “a political declaration by the Chinese Communists in the new era to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics and keep in mind the original mission”; and “an action guide to take history as a mirror and learn from it, create the future and realise the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” 全会通过的《中共中央关于党的百年奋斗重大成就和历史经验的决议》,坚持辩证唯物主义和历史唯物主义的方法论,坚持正确党史观、树立大历史观,聚焦总结党的百年奋斗重大成就和历史经验,突出中国特色社会主义新时代这个重点,对重大事件、重要会议、重要人物的评价注重同党中央已有结论相衔接,体现了党中央对党的百年奋斗的新认识,是一篇光辉的马克思主义纲领性文献,是新时代中国共产党人牢记初心使命、坚持和发展中国特色社会主义的政治宣言,是以史为鉴、开创未来、实现中华民族伟大复兴的行动指南.

We are then told that the most distinctive features of the resolution are “seeking truth from facts” and “respecting history.” The resolution reflects the original aspiration and mission, is in line with the two previous historical resolutions, keeps pace with the times, and provides an anchor for future endeavours. -- The bit of being in line with earlier resolutions is important. It tells us that this isn’t a repudiation of the outcomes of previous resolutions. So the 1981 resolution’s conclusions and criticisms are not dismissed. 《中共中央关于党的百年奋斗重大成就和历史经验的决议》最鲜明的特点是实事求是、尊重历史,反映了党的百年奋斗的初心使命,同党的前两个历史决议既一脉相承又与时俱进,必将激励全党锚定既定奋斗目标、意气风发走向未来。

The editorial then heaps praise on the Central Committee with Xi as the core. It says that they have, since the 18th Party Congress, taken great historical initiative, demonstrated great political courage and strong sense of responsibility, and engaged in great struggles, projects, undertakings, making historic achievements and changes in the cause of the Party and the country, thereby demonstrating the great vitality of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The Party, the army and the people have rallied and are inspired as never before. And in doing so, they have provided a better institutional guarantee, a more solid material foundation, and a stronger spiritual force for realising the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. 特别是党的十八大以来,以习近平同志为核心的党中央统筹把握中华民族伟大复兴战略全局和世界百年未有之大变局,以伟大的历史主动精神、巨大的政治勇气、强烈的责任担当,统揽伟大斗争、伟大工程、伟大事业、伟大梦想,推动党和国家事业取得历史性成就、发生历史性变革,彰显了中国特色社会主义的强大生机活力,党心军心民心空前凝聚振奋,为实现中华民族伟大复兴提供了更为完善的制度保证、更为坚实的物质基础、更为主动的精神力量,中华民族迎来了从站起来、富起来到强起来的伟大飞跃.

It then talks about staying true to the four consciousnesses, four self-confidence, two safeguards; pursue self-revolution and stay true to historical materialism. It is important, the piece says, to “have a clear understanding of why we succeeded in the past and how we can continue to succeed in the future.” 

The next paragraph says that over the past 100 years, the Party has “fundamentally transformed the future and destiny of the Chinese people, opened up the right path for achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, demonstrated the strong vitality of Marxism, profoundly influenced the world’s historical process, and forged the Party a forerunner of the times. Or more succinctly, the document tells us about the “historic contribution made by the Party to the Chinese people, the Chinese nation, Marxism, the cause of human progress and the construction of Marxist political parties.” The resolution, we are told, informs us about “the relationship between the CPC and Marxism, world socialism and the development of human society, and penetrates the historical, theoretical and practical logic of the CPC’s century-long struggle.” 体现了中国共产党和马克思主义、世界社会主义、人类社会发展的关系,贯通了中国共产党百年奋斗的历史逻辑、理论逻辑、实践逻辑.

We are then told that the world is “undergoing profound changes unseen in a century and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation has entered a critical period.” And while China is “more confident” and “capable,” it is important to keep in mind that the great rejuvenation will not come easy. There will be “predictable and unpredictable risks and challenges.” In this context, the editorial talks about focusing on the principal contradiction, following the four comprehensives, or the four-pronged comprehensive strategy, adhering to the new development concept and building a new development pattern to promote high-quality development, pursue people-centered development and maintain close ties with the people.

The last paragraph talks about uniting more closely around the Central Committee with Xi as the core, maintaining the four consciousnesses, four self-confidence, and ensuring the two safeguards, not forgetting the hardships of the past as one marches to the great dream of future, and calls for moving forward with determination with the aim of welcoming the 20th CPC National Congress “with outstanding achievements” and striving unremittingly to achieve the second centenary goal and national rejuvenation. 让我们更加紧密地团结在以习近平同志为核心的党中央周围,全面贯彻习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想,增强“四个意识”、坚定“四个自信”、做到“两个维护”,大力弘扬伟大建党精神,勿忘昨天的苦难辉煌,无愧今天的使命担当,不负明天的伟大梦想,以史为鉴、开创未来,埋头苦干、勇毅前行,以优异成绩迎接党的二十大召开,为实现第二个百年奋斗目标、实现中华民族伟大复兴的中国梦而不懈奋斗.-- Thought it was interesting that the call to unite more closely and the 20th Congress was in the same paragraph.

The other piece on the page is a report of sorts. The piece tells us that during the plenum, the PD reporter interviewed 15 comrades involved in the discussions. “Some of them work in ministries, some are in charge of governments, and some are from fields and laboratories.” They saw the plenary as a “milestone in the history of the Party” and said that the resolution was a “Marxist programmatic document.” 全会期间,记者采访了15位与会同志。他们有的任职部委,有的主政一方,也有的来自田间地头和实验室。同志们评价,党的十九届六中全会是我们党的历史上的一座里程碑,决议是一篇马克思主义的纲领性文献,是我们党百年奋斗的皇皇巨著.

The report talks about the establishment of Xi’s position as the core and Xi Jinping Thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era in the guiding position “reflects the common will of the Party, the armed forces, and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups.” 

The document receives more praise and so does Xi. The comrades praised the unity and cohesion within the Party and said that this is because the Central Committee with Xi at its core has been able to bring everyone together, and that has allowed forging ahead to great endeavours. “No force can stop the pace of progress” 任何力量都无法阻挡前进的步伐.

Some of the leading comrades quoted are; and they are all very upbeat on Xi, of course.

  • Yin Li, Secretary of the Fujian Provincial Party Committee

  • Yuan Jiajun, Secretary of the Zhejiang Provincial Party Committee; he’s quite emphatic in talking about consolidating the scenario wherein “the Party has a core and one mind.”

  • Li Ganjie, Party Secretary of Shandong, says the excellent results that have been achieved are because of Xi’s core position and the Party’s core position being maintained. He wants “four consciousnesses, four self-confidences, two safeguards” to be adhered to.

  • Zhang Qingwei, Party Secretary of Hunan, praises the practical power of Xi Thought. He says the “​​leadership of the Party is the foundation and lifeblood of the Party and the country” and the key to the success for the great ship that is China is the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core at the helm.党的领导是党和国家的根本所在、命脉所在,中国号巨轮之所以能够行稳致远、勇往直前,关键是有以习近平同志为核心的党中央举旗掌舵.

  • Ying Yong, Hubei Party Secretary, says that the fight against COVID-19 proves that “the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core is the most reliable backbone” when storms and troubles abound. 疫情防控的武汉保卫战、湖北保卫战,充分证明以习近平同志为核心的党中央是风雨来袭、泰山压顶时最可靠的主心骨.”

  • Yu Zhongfu, PLAAF political commissar, talks about the PLA following and obeying the Party.

  • Wang Zhigang, Minister of Science and Technology, says that Xi’s leadership has been crucial for science and tech development. He adds that it is important to “arm the mind with Xi Jinping Thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.”

  • ILD chief Song Tao praises Xi’s leadership in helping China maintain “strategic determination” in foreign affairs. He also talks about how he has heard “foreign leaders praising Xi’s “world-class leadership style.” He says that Xi “is a great leader of the times who led the Communist Party of China and the people of the whole country to a century of glory, create miracles and enjoy high international prestige.”习近平总书记是带领中国共产党和全国人民赓续百年辉煌、创造奇迹并享有崇高国际威望的伟大时代领航人.

  • Zhang Guoqing, Liaoning Party Secretary, says that “it is necessary to resolutely safeguard Xi Jinping’s position as the core of the CPC Central Committee and the entire Party, and firmly safeguard the authority and centralized, unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee.” 张国清说,要坚持党的全面领导,就要坚决维护习近平总书记党中央的核心、全党的核心地位,坚决维护党中央权威和集中统一领导.

  • He Ping, Eastern Theatre Command political commissar, talks about Party leadership, safeguarding sovereignty and opposing “Taiwan independence”

  • Liu Lei, political commissar of the PLA, talks about maintaining Party leadership over the forces, maintaining the “red blood,” but also advancing preparations for military struggle, and the PLA becoming stronger and a more reliable force in defending national sovereignty, security, and development interests. He also talks about eradicating discipline problems.

  • Lou Yangsheng, Henan Party Secretary, says that since the 18th Party Congress, with General Secretary Xi Jinping as the main representative, the Chinese Communists have established Xi Jinping’s new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics which has “extraordinary political wisdom, broad international vision and rich experience in governing the country.”

  • Shen Xiaoming, Hainan Party Secretary, talks about how having Xi at the core is the key to China’s new journey.新的征程,同样关键在党,关键在以习近平同志为核心的党中央的伟大领航.

Page 13: We have a piece by Gao Xiang from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences talking about common prosperity. In this piece, Gao isn’t explaining or interpreting the future direction of common prosperity or discussing policy choices. He’s basically making the case that this concept draws from Chinese ancient history and philosophy. He says that this has been among the most “ancient ideals” in China, was key to administration during the different dynasties, and has been an aspiration for the people for thousands of years. Of course, only adhering to the CCP leadership can make this a reality in the future, according to Gao.